Nightriff’s 2016 Game of the Year Blog

In the past I usually just created a list and called it done. 2016 was an interesting year for me as it pertained to games. I don’t get to play every new release so my lists in the past have been very short, relegated to the few games I had an opportunity to play. I would rather create a more diverse list of awards to games and force myself to write about them rather than create an arbitrary list of the handful I got to play and fit them into an order ala how the GB crew does it. I’m not the crew and so why should I create a list? Let’s begin!

Backlog Game of the Year:

The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – When this came out in 2015, I wanted to save it for when I finally built an awesome PC, which I was finally able to this past summer. Oh boy I wish I was able to play it when it first came out, but part of is glad that I wait, I got a whole mess of DLC and expansions to play with and it was for the most part a bug free experience. But this is my kind of game, love the choices, love the characters (except Dandelion, fuck him), love all the side stories and just being in the world. It felt like a better Skyrim in terms of just existing in a world full of mystery. I spent 100 hours in the game and I’m waiting for a lull to jump back in with a new game +. Only knock I have against it would be I still like the Witcher 2 as a better overall game, but man I wish I played The Witcher in 2015, I would’ve had a hard time deciding between MGS5 and Witcher 3 for my personal Game of the Year.

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Runner Up: Costume Quest – What a fun little game with a lot of charm. Has a great story, funny moments and characters and love the atmosphere it creates. I’m debating on making it a game I play through every Halloween I enjoyed it so much. The sequel on the other hand, I’ll get to in a moment.

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Runner Up: Pokemon Omega Ruby – I fell into a Pokemon hole earlier this year, don’t worry, I found my way out with the 4th Gen game, but god damn is Omega Ruby an awesome game. Playing the original games reminded me that I love (and still do to an extent) the series, Omega Ruby ruined any chance of me ever playing those older games ever again. The changes they made are absolutely essential to a more enjoyable experience. These changes may have occurred in B/W or X/Y, I haven’t played them yet, but this was my first experience with them and I fucking loved it.

Backlog Disappointment of the Year:

Costume Quest 2 – Maybe it was my mistake to try and squeeze in the sequel before the end of October but man this game couldn’t have missed harder for me than it did. Within a few hours I had to just stop, the charm was all but gone for me. The minor changes they made just felt like a manufactured way to extend the game, the jokes just weren’t there, the few areas I got to were just blah. Maybe if I waited till 2017 to play it...but that isn’t the case. Fuck Costume Quest 2.

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Runner Up: Cibele – I just could not relate to this game in anyway. It was weird hearing Austin rave about the game last year in the GotY discussions when I re-listened to the podcasts, I almost felt like a bad person because it didn’t click with me. I felt vindicated once Jason beat the game during the discussions and stated an opinion that was inline with how I felt. For a 45 minute experience, it felt incredibly shallow that you could see where the plot was going within 3 minutes. The guy was a TERRIBLE actor and just looked like a douche, it was just awkward to watch in the this is just bad way, not in the awkward way it wanted me to experience it. All the love in the world to Nina Freeman, appreciate her telling a very personal story where she comes out looking foolish, that had to take a lot of self control and courage. Sorry I hated the game.

Shrug of the Year:

Deus Ex: Mankind Divided – Game was fine, whatever. As a follow up to a 2011 game, it couldn’t have felt more like it belonged in 2013 than it did. Everything about it felt like it was an expansion to HR, but they decided to build on that and release a sequel….5 years later. Story was meh (but so was HR’s), characters seemed just as meh, few memorable moments. I didn’t hate the game but I was glad I paid a discounted rate for the experience.

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Runner Up: Pac-Man: Championship Edition 2 – Game is ok, but as follow up to DX? Yeah this gets a big shrug from me.

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Runner Up: Civilization 6 – I was expecting a Civ4 and Civ5 level of addiction to this game before release. It didn’t happen. I shrugged, I moved on after 50 ish hours (keep in mind, I was expecting hundreds). See you when more stuff is added or when you get an expansion.

Disappointment of the Year:

Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End – A lot of the talk around this game just left me confused. I like all the Uncharted games for what they are, this seemed like the worst one. Let me say something positive, it is the best told and emoted story, but I enjoyed the story way less than the other games. Uncharted is an Indiana Jones type of adventure with minimal drama and tons of action. This was trying to do something different and by the time I noticed I was halfway through and had to push my way through the rest of the bullshit. Let’s see, after 4 games I can say for sure that I hate the fucking combat in these games, just never clicked with me in a satisfying way. Fuck the “open world” parts of the game, I want to see the next story beat, not do some puzzling with a god damn jeep, fuck god dammit more combat, shit. I like the treasure hunting aspects of the series, so that taking a drastic step into the background was disappointing to me. I love you Troy, don’t hate me, but fuck the brother. Fuck the majority of the flashbacks, what? Drake isn’t actually a descendant of Sir Francis Drake, SHOCKING!!! Outside the epilogue (which saved my opinion of the game for me from being any lower), I would be debating which was more disappoint to me, this or Dragon Age 2. See ya Nathan, enjoyed your first 2 adventures a ton, now please retire.

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Runner Up: Huniecam Studio – I really liked Huniepop, so I bought this day one mainly to support the developer, but yeah this game is generic and sort of lifeless. I don’t have a lot of experience with clickers but this didn’t grab me to want to continue playing which seems like the whole damn point of clickers. Hope his next effort is more enjoyable.

Game I Wish I Liked a Lot More, but Appreciate It From a Distance:

Stardew Valley – I really wanted this game to grab me, but after one season it just didn’t. It goes against the game entirely but I wish the story stuff was more structured, story beats would play out every few days, slowly make friends and acquaintances with everyone (or hell, make me pick between a few). How its structured leads me towards a faq or guide, and while I don’t mind doing it in games, I didn’t want to put in the effort for this one. There is a game I would love in there, somewhere, but that would require me to fundamentally make major changes to the structure of it and I try not to do those things more often than not. I try to appreciate designers decisions in how games are made, even if I don’t like them. I was very happy to see Dan get the game on the site list, but it isn’t for me. Sorry…

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Runner Up: The Witness – I beat the Witness, I get what its doing but the majority of the puzzles just infuriated me. Like Drew, my relationship was satisfaction and anger switching, but probably….85% of the game was me just anger at the game (and myself for being stupid). I similarly felt the same way when I attempted Braid last year so maybe Jon Blow is just operating at a level way higher than I can comprehend, but I appreciate his works nonetheless. I won’t be buying his next game when its released in 2026, I’ve learned they just aren’t for me.

Wish I Got Around To It Award (Must Already be in My Backlog):

XCOM 2 – I loved Enemy Unknown, I just literally bought the game a few days ago, wish I got to you XCOM 2, see you in 2017!!

Backlog: Hitman: Blood Money – I’ve been eyeing you for 6 years at this point, maybe 2017 will finally be the end of you mocking me…

And finally…….

Nightriff’s Game of the Year:

Doom (2016) – I heard all the love, but god dammit I wish I was there week 1 for this once everyone saw what the game actually was. I haven’t enjoyed a FPS campaign this much in years. It was so fast, so brutal, so smooth and comfortable to play, I just felt badass and that was great. The past few years I’ve gone back and played the old style of FPS in the 90’s and appreciated what the games were going for in terms of speed and maneuverability, and wondered if it would even be possible to capture the feel of Doom 1, 2, or Quake. I couldn’t be more happy to see that this style of FPS is still possible and fucking incredible. Give me a sequel ID Software and I’ll be there day 1 this time.

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Runner Up: None

Closing Thoughts:

As I said from the beginning, I felt like 2016 was an interesting year for me in terms of video games, mainly because I felt like it was a pretty weak year overall. Listening to the GotY podcasts and reading everyone thoughts on games, more often than not I just straight up disagreed with a lot of people and I just ended up scratching my head with some games that people fell head over heels for. With the podcast discussions, I usually end up adding a dozen or so games to wishlists or mentally check them to purchase at some point based on peoples experiences, not the case at all this year. I still have a few games to get around to eventually (i.e. Hitman, Firewatch, couple other indie titles), so maybe in a year or two I’ll look back at 2016 more fondly, but where it stands with me right now I would have to say the weakest year in games that I can personally recall.

See you all in 2017.

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RElapsed Fan - Resident Evil: Revelations 2

Previously I played RE5, read my thoughts here. Forgot why the hell I was doing this? Click here to find out/remember!

Hey everyone. You may not remember me, but last year I decided to play through all the main series Resident Evil games to rekindle my love and appreciation that I once had for the series years and years ago. After Resident Evil 5 I ran into a big problem, a Metal Gear (Metal Gear?!) problem. Basically MGSV took all my attention when it came to gaming and by the time I wrapped the game up in early November, I had lost my momentum to play Resident Evil games. Not surprisingly really, I played….in some form 10ish RE games within a 4-month period. I’m actually proud that I had accomplished so much in that time that I felt like I earned a break. But now…. I RETURN!

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And part of me wishes I didn’t. Oh boy.

So I originally planned to try and squeeze this game in BEFORE MGSV. I just came off hot and heavy of RE5 and felt like jumping into the next game, that was mid/late August. Little did I know Rev 2 is a little longer than I anticipated and was only able to complete the first episode (ran into a problem of buying the season pass or whatever but didn’t understand why I didn’t have any episodes after that, apparently you have to download them separately, fucking hell….) and then September rolled around and I threw this game on the digital shelf.

My initial impressions of the game were positive. Unlike Revelations 1, I thought the combat and controls were really good, the story was at least mildly engaging from the get-go and the atmosphere was really creepy. The hospital/insane asylum area sent some shivers down my spine as I was playing at night in the complete darkness of our apartment, it got to me and I enjoyed it. While for the most part I did enjoy my time with episode one at this point, something…. just didn’t sit right with me about the game. I couldn’t quite put my finger on it then and even writing this now I’m still unsure what exactly didn’t sit correctly, hopefully I can either crack this out by writing, or some of you lovely people can explain to me what I’m feeling.

In the beginning, the game truly got to me in some ways, very creepy first areas.
In the beginning, the game truly got to me in some ways, very creepy first areas.

Anyways as said I tried to jump into Episode 2 right away and shit…I have to download all the episodes….and my internet connection sucked that day and it was very slow….and MGSV is coming out in 2 days…. there goes my goal of trying to marathon the game quickly over a weekend!

So on, so on, I beat MGSV, I play some other games I had on my backlog, knocked off a couple other games and bam, I decided to return to the world of Revelations 2 a few weeks back.

Is it just me or is the lip just not look right?
Is it just me or is the lip just not look right?

And almost immediately the game is doing nothing for me.

It’s such a weird thing that happened, but nothing was clicking with me as it pertained to the game. Everything felt boring all the sudden. The characters I’ve loved from previous games felt stale and flat, the combat felt subpar, the story felt nonexistent. I honestly felt like I was only shooting zombie/crazy people because... because I was playing the damn game. Nothing made sense anymore. Revelations 2 has 2 of my top 4 favorite Resident Evil characters in Barry and Claire, and I hated playing as them in this game.

So I pushed on, maybe it was just a little rust that I need to shake off and it will start to feel better as I progressed further. Nope… that did the opposite. Basically by the time I’m going the opposite fucking direction in the Barry part of the episode as I was in the Claire part… I was pretty much broken. I thought to myself, what am I really doing here with this game? What am I trying to prove? I have tons of other games that I really want to play, I felt like I put enough time into this game for it to prove to me that it was worthy of my time and quite frankly it probably got more time than a game on equal quality (in my opinion) would’ve got. And it lost me, coming out of the sewers, my man Barry with a little girl, neither who I gave a flying fuck about anymore…

It's OK Moira, I might be back to save you.
It's OK Moira, I might be back to save you.

Maybe I’ll return to it in the future, give it another go. Maybe I’ll play it all together instead of having a huge gap between episodes, I’m sure that had an effect. But I’ve already hit options and delete application on my PS4, and I feel… relieved… oddly enough.

Well the next and FINAL chapter in my RElapsed series in the one. The only. Resident. Evil. 6!

I’m actually really excited to play the game for myself finally. I honestly don’t know what to expect, I could easily see myself falling into either camp of the majority saying its fucking shit, and the minority saying it is actually pretty good. I DON’T KNOW! Might wait a few weeks before I jump into it but I hope that regardless of how I feel about the game, that I’m proud of myself for actually doing this. I’ve literally been planning stuff like this for years and never make it past a game or two. This time I set a goal and while the parameters around achieving the goal changed (FUCK THOSE CHRONICLES GAMES!), this is a good start to future endeavors that are similar to this one for me.

On to…

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RElapsed Fan – Resident Evil 5

Want to know how I felt about RE5 when it was first released? Read about it in my initial blog here!

The previous game before this was Resident Evil: Revelations, it was fucking garbage, read my stream of consciousness here!

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Recap: Resident Evil 5 kind of killed the franchise for me back in 2009. I tried to play it again in 2010 but ultimately still had the same issues with the game as I did the year prior. Game was good, but wasn’t the RE game I wanted AT THAT time.

BOOOOOO this man!
BOOOOOO this man!

Fast Forward to Now: Resident Evil 5 is a great game, it doesn’t kill the series for me in any way, but I still have the same issues with it as I did then, I have just come to terms with them now.

I'm just making up for the lack of gifs in the Rev blog
I'm just making up for the lack of gifs in the Rev blog
I'll admit it, the gameplay is very satisfying... maybe even better than 4...
I'll admit it, the gameplay is very satisfying... maybe even better than 4...

Resident Evil 5 is a great game. It is tons of fun to play, story is alright by RE standards, memorable moments and the such. Wasn’t surprised by this realization, felt the same way back when it was released, not sure where the disconnect actually occurred in me disappointed by the game. Once again I was captivated by the gameplay and really, really fell deep into the upgrading weapons portion of the game. I beat the game an additional 2 times since I beat it originally a week plus ago, just so I could upgrade more weapons and purchase some unlimited ammo for the weapons I enjoy using. I sit here even now debating on jumping back in to beat in on Professional (only thing holding me back is an AI Sheva, fucking A she is terrible in certain situations, I’ll get to that…). Biggest reason I’m not going to is I want to move on to other games in general, but might pick it back up after a game or two, says a lot about the game to me. Honestly that is the most positive thing about the game, as said the story is alright, Irving was dumb, the Uroburos shit is meh, Wesker is great (sad he won’t be in 6(?)), Josh is pretty great, Spanish lady wasn’t around long enough to really make an impact, overall it’s all alright. Truthfully if the game didn’t have as great of combat as it did, it would be a mediocre game by all means, it really makes up for weak parts.

Still bugs me how quickly she was
Still bugs me how quickly she was "we need to get the fuck out of here" to...

Can’t really continue to talk about the combat much more so let’s move on to the negative things. First off, Sheva as an AI controlled partner is fine EXCEPT for when she goes full on retarded and becomes absolutely infuriating. I give her an unlimited magnum for the harder difficulties and she is a fucking god damn surgeon throughout the campaign, picking off everyone, no matter the distance, but comes the Wesker/Jill fight and she keeps dying over, and over, and over. Nothing I did pre fight helped, loading her up with health items didn’t remedy the solution either, giving her alternative weapons didn’t help her at all either. Also, does the AI just refuse to acknowledge infinite ammo on weapons? Why must I only give Sheva the magnum for her to fucking use it? I remember people complaining about the game back in the day for shoddy AI, they never went in and tried to change it? Sheva is a fine character, it’s kind of sad that she has been cast aside and forgotten, honestly it was her programming that ruined her. Anyways, just seemed like I kept running into issues with Sheva’s AI from 5-3 on and it just killed momentum of me jumping directly into Professional.

Which leads into my next issue, there isn’t much there…. single player wise at least. I went back and watched the old Zero Punctuation video (first one I ever saw and thus got me addicted to his work before I ever found GB) about RE5 and one of his criticisms of the game was the length, and he is absolutely right. It’s weird, you aren’t in places long enough for them to become memorable and/or fucking awful. I personally would’ve loved to see more of the ancient ruins for a few more chapters (rather than 2), or more of the Marshlands rather than jumping straight into the oil fields extremely quickly. This also lead to me getting burned out after a few playthroughs is that I have seen all the settings and combat scenarios rather recently. And it is weird in a way that the combat scenarios ALWAYS end up playing out the same way for me. Almost feels like there is no randomization that occurs in the enemy AI. Right after you meet Irving, I know that 3 bad guys are going to go for the turret, oh here comes the guy from the ladder, it’s been 30 seconds so there are now 2 guys on the 1st floor underneath me. Very specific parts of the game that should be tense are ruined after a try or two as I can predict very quickly what the enemy is going to do, takes away from what little horror there is in the game.

EDIT: Oh yeah, the inventory is shit, moving on.

As stated, Resident Evil 5 is a great game. It isn’t the series ending catastrophe that I labeled it back in the day. There are some very troubling problems with the game that after the high of the first replay, began to slowly pick away at me and take away from my enjoyment… a little. RE5 and ME3 have very similar reputations and experiences with me. First playthrough I couldn’t stand the game and was extremely disappoint, months to years later I replay the game (and in both situations, with the previous games directly before it) and I understand what the games truly are, good games with very obvious flaws that no matter how hard I try, I can never get over. And still I could very well see myself throwing the disc back into my PS3 after I finish Rev 2 or after RE6, I don’t know if that would lead to beating the game several more times, maybe even upgrading all the weapons, or if I just play a few chapters and say I’ve had enough.

There is quite a bit of stupid shit in this game, it's still alright.
There is quite a bit of stupid shit in this game, it's still alright.

Regardless, at this point I have moved on to…and I quit playing it, find out why here.

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RElapsed Fan - Resident Evil: Revelations

I’m still at it, forgot why? Read my initial blog here!

I loved RE4 back in the day, and I found out I love it still now, read more here.

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I honestly don’t want to spend very much time on this game, in short, I absolutely hated Resident Evil: Revelations. Alright, thanks everyone for stopping by.

On to...

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If only I could be let off so easily. Essentially from beginning to end I thought everything about the game was a mess, or misstep, or mishandled, or misguided, boring, annoying, etc. My perception of the general audience’s perception of the game was that it was good to mediocre, had some redeemable qualities but overall was a good experience that seemed to correct and realign the franchise in a way that hardcore fans wanted them to return to. Again, that was my perception and what I thought going in. Afterwards, I’m honestly surprised anyone was like “Oh yeah, Revelations 2 was announced (released), let’s do this!” That may shine some light on RE6…. At this point, I won’t be surprised if my writing isn’t very clear, I tend to bungle up my words and thoughts when I’m emotionally writing about something in either a very positive/negative way, so let’s begin and I apologize if I make zero sense.

My biggest issue with the game is the story and how it was laid out. I could very well see my opinion change from hatred to a shrug level of acceptance if the story and layout of the plot wasn’t such a god damn travesty. First off, I hate multiple playable characters that are alternating as the story is laid out to us. I didn’t like it very much in the Call of Duty games that I’ve played (do they still do this?) and just don’t think it works, it especially doesn’t work when the story is jumping back and forth through time and therefore means there is going to be no consequences for their (or others) actions. See how events play out from others perspectives is an interesting idea that could be interesting, do some world building and show motivations for others, Revelations doesn’t do any of that. If the story was more or less just Jill, Parker and the ship with Chris showing up later in the game, it would’ve worked much better and ultimately even the weak story wouldn’t have been that much of an issue. These are Resident Evil games, for the most part they don’t have amazing stories, they are fun, silly, campy and in general harmless. Revelations was trying to be way smarter than it thought but, shocker, the plot twists were shown a mile away if not from the moment you met characters you knew what they were going to eventually do. Say what you will about CVX, but finding out that Ashford was crazy and was dressing up as his sister was a plot twist that surprised and engaged me in what was going on. Finding out the head dude was bad was obvious from the get go, Jessica being bad was obvious, Raymond being a poorly designed character, poorly acted character, and in general just terrible was not a twist. Alright, Parker being involved somehow was a “twist,” I wasn’t surprised but I did go huh, didn’t absolutely see that happening. Even then I didn’t even know what the fuck he was actually doing that made him involved in the process, just like everything else in the game made little to no sense as it was playing out. When I finish a game, but have to go find a synopsis because I have no idea what just transpired, that is not a good thing. It either means there was so much going on I couldn’t keep up despite grabbing my attention (The Godfather or Sapranos for me, something about Italian names just throws me off when I try to follow films, tv shows, etc), you info dumped at the end and I didn’t catch everything so I wanted to reconfirm what I learned and what I might have missed, or I was so bored and done with your product that I don’t care and just want to move on at this point….. yet I want to know what happened still. RE Rev is somewhere between 2 and 3, they saved so much plot for the end (hey, it IS a Resident Evil game after all) AND I was so annoyed and bored that I literally just put the controller down at the last boss and said fuck this, and hoped that the credits would roll soon. BUT OH WAIT, there’s more, another fucking flashback that explains little to nothing, again there’s more, another boss battle that was extremely fucked and bullshit (I’ll take the blame on this, I was so mad that I had to continue playing that I wasn’t actually doing that great in the fight and that made me even more mad, honestly the last battle was alright). Finally credits….. and another bullshit cutscene that means nothing with two characters that don’t matter, that haven’t returned since nor should they…alright I’m done with that.

No I can’t, what the fuck is up with some of the design choices in this game? Who the hell designed Raymond, gave him Conan hair with a shitty shade of red and said THAT is our plot twist/bad guy/hench man. You know what, if they actually got Conan to do that performance, this is an amazing game……alright I checked, it wasn’t Conan. What was up with Jessica’s outfit? When I can tell someone is bad JUST by what they were wearing, you done fucked up. See how Jill was wearing a full body suit but was still Sexy…. Jessica tried to one up her….by cutting an entire leg cover off? To impress and seduce Chris? What? Man…..

I don’t want to talk in detail about other negatives, I’ll just list others and if someone wants to counter I would love to read thoughts and reply in the comments.

  • The controls were terrible; the aimer was awful. I played the PS3 version, maybe the ports were that bad, I doubt it. If there was some form of run button I think that would’ve helped me personally, it felt really uncomfortable to try and “run” while turning, just never got the hang of that so I had to stop, turn, then run, etc.
  • The Magnum was shit, they ruined the magnum, my favorite weapon type in these games was useless, thanks.
  • I thought the enemy types were dumb, even though Oozes are more parallel to zombies than the basic enemies in 4, 5, 6, it just didn’t work for me. I have stated before I’m not a big fan of the slimy, squidy styles that the series eventually turned to.
  • Oh my god, these are probably my least favorite version of the hunters in the games so far. So fucking annoying.
  • Outside of Raymond, “Jackass” is one of the worst characters I’ve seen in a while. Give him a nasally, whiney voice, incredibly nerdy, stupid headgear and a nickname like Jackass, you will get one of the worst characters in the series. Even better is that the character who you control with him has zero personality and I didn’t even know his name until the credits…and immediately didn’t remember it.
  • Turret sequences!!!!!

Now talk about some positives…positives…positives…as a whole I didn’t think the ship was a bad setting. There could’ve been more involved in the setting, but other things took away from it, but for what it was I didn’t enjoy the ship parts, had a good atmosphere occasionally. Rachel was a good boss, a nice homage to Nemesis, and was saddened that she didn’t show up in some capacity in the end and have some effect on something within the story or events that took place. Regardless the design was creepy and the very first encounter(s) were some of the few highlights I have of the game. Stated earlier, the ending boss, now that I look back on it, was fun, interesting, and different. I could’ve performed better during the fight and become less frustrated but it was a loss cause at the end so I’m giving the Abyss Tyrant (forgot his actual name) a pass. Oh and the giant boss that you fight after he fucks up the elevator was pretty good too. The guns and customization stuff was interesting and led me to spend more time than I should’ve swapping upgrades and trying to find the best match for my style and weapons. Not great and downgraded some weapons overall, but was an interesting, somewhat successful idea. Parker was alright, wouldn’t mind seeing him in the future…..yup.

I don’t know what I really expected from the game before I started, maybe something in between RE3 in terms of I find the game fine/tolerable and RE4 in terms of combat, what I got was a frustrating, boring experience that as I continued to play and advance, I got more and more annoyed. If I wasn’t doing these blogs or had a goal to play all these games, I would’ve quit playing…..around chapter 8, 9 or 10, and I rarely quit games. When I quit playing your game, or reeeeeeeally want to quit playing your game but continue out of ulterior motives (Revelations for blogs/RE series playthrough, BF4 for only game on the PS4) that means I find your product a waste of my time and ultimately fucking garbage.Told you I didn't want to spend much time with this, sorry for writing too much but I'm not even going to take the time to find pictures/gifs to go with this blog, I just want to be done with RE Revelations.

AND I’M STILL incredibly excited to jump into RE5, like tonight or tomorrow (at the time of this writing). And that says a lot. I played RE5 at the time the game was launched, this coincided with my……..3rd(?) attempt at being a fan of the franchise, and proceeded to end with 5 (I could’ve reread my initial blog to find out but I’m too lazy right now). I accept 5 as a good/fun game that I enjoyed my time with, but it was not the follow up to 4 that I wanted at THAT time. Unfortunately I lost my RE5 save on my YLOD PS3 so I won’t be able to just play with all the weapons I had unlocked and fully maxed, that wouldn’t be a pure experience so it is probably for the best that I’m doing a fresh playthrough. Anyways….

On to…or you can read my thoughts on RE5, CRAZY, right here!

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RElapsed Fan - Resident Evil 4

Forgot what I’m doing? Read my initial blog here

I was…..going to play the railshooter RE games, but those fucking suck, so I actually played Code Veronica X last, which you can read my thoughts about the game here

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Ready for a shocker, ok here it is…..YO, RE4 IS STILL A FUCKING FANTASTIC GAME!

Pretty boy Leon is back for one hell of a ride
Pretty boy Leon is back for one hell of a ride

I really could stop this blog right there and be happy with it, but then why the hell did I write a blog? Let me elaborate. Resident Evil 4, a game that I hadn’t played in at least 8 to 9 years, is still as enjoyable an experience as it was then. Everything I loved about the game came flooding back to me in a giant wave of nostalgia and excitement, something that usually doesn’t happen when I return to a game I once loved. Usually when I play a game that I absolutely adored years and years prior, I might still like but I remember bits and pieces that I overall didn’t like. That was not the case with RE4 as I have no issues with that game in any way possible. RE4 isn’t a perfect game mind you, it is a perfectly executed game where everything came together in one terrific package where its weaknesses aren’t too big of an issue as the game doesn’t focus on them for very long at all. Interestingly enough, I decided to replay Batman: Arkham Asylum (because of all the Arkham Knight talk) which is in the same exact spot as RE4 in my book. Both games do have some issues that are easy to point out, but the overall experience is so solid, so complete that those problems don’t hurt the experience, in my case, at all.

WHAT DA YA BUYIN'?
WHAT DA YA BUYIN'?

Let’s talk about the story, pacing, characters and overall presentation of the Resident Evil 4 to begin with. You are Leon, the President’s daughter is kidnapped, go to Spain, shoot dudes, witty banter, win. Ok, I do have an issue with the game, it shouldn’t be called Resident Evil 4, it is more of a side story to the overall Umbrella Ark that the previous games all dealt heavily in. Minor issue, as considering the game a side story somehow contains the stigma that it is lesser than the main series games (see Operation Raccoon City). That is not the case of RE4 and I give it a slide in that department. Moving on, the game does have a simple story, but that tends to be the case in most of the games I have played so far. And just like the previous games, there is a lot of story development in the back 1/3, new threats and story threads are introduced and set up future events in the series that I will eventually playthrough (I assume). The game strikes me as sometime during the development, the creators decided to not go so bat shit insane (they saved it for 5 from what I remember) and instead keep it simple, story wise. And because of this, I might say it is one of the best paced games I have ever played. It never felt too long, never felt to short, you never did anything annoying or frustrating for too long, the cutscenes weren’t crazy long or so frequent that it became an issue. The pacing might be the biggest strength of the game. From the previous RE games that I’ve played, pacing always seemed to be an issue, RE4 they solved that problem finally. Don’t want to go on this too long, but the characters are extremely memorable, including the enemies and boss battles. Leon’s banter against Salazar and Sadler is very fun and adds a goofy tone that they really embraced in this title. MVP goes to the Merchant though, I wonder if they knew how memorable a character they had right there, I’m going to guess no but just everything about him is awesome.

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Now the combat. I see and even understand the reasons people complain about it, since games like Gears of War of come out since RE4’s release, everyone wants to move around while shooting. Here’s the thing, it is still a survival horror game (too some degree), and having that option would take out a lot of tension and suspense that the combat brings. Being able to continually back pedal and shoot the enemies that are moving towards you would completely take the game out of the genre that it somewhat still has a foot in, it would also render all the “smaller” enemies absolutely useless as they are melee attackers and to be effective require you to take a chance in whether to run or attack. Easily some very memorable encounters and boss battles would be rendered obsolete if the ability to move and attack at the same time existed, to name a few: the chainsaw/1-hit-kill enemies require to be very close to you, creates tension; el gigante fights would at least be far easier; several combat set pieces in the castle would be rendered pointless as it would be easier. I understand the complaint, I personally think it only adds to the gameplay and style of the game. If anyone says that RE4 is a “bad game” because of this problem they have, I personally have a hard time trusting their opinion on any game in the future. Everything else pertaining to the combat is fantastic, from the weapon options, to the button prompts and options to approach each situation, the game is very friendly and almost encourages the player to experiment with different styles and approaches. Even the inventory management system is awesome, no more slots, now its Tetris with weapons and ammo.

Not saying this is one of the meh bosses...
Not saying this is one of the meh bosses...

Alright, let’s see if I can muster up some complaints about RE4. There are some not so fun boss battles in the game, they led to some frustrating moments while playing. Specifically, The Big Cheese gave me some issues thus leading to me being annoyed; the final gigante fight was tedious and at that point the enemy was used too many times; I don’t think the final Krauser confrontation is all that great, ends up being a little meh with what ends up being the second to last boss fight; Ashley being a 1-shot-kill if you hit her is annoying, led to a few parts of just me sigh as I accidentally hit her again with the sniper (telling me those bars that are holding her against the wall aren’t thick enough to stop the bullet from penetrating and killer her? Come on….); The Merchant doesn’t have enough dialogue, repeats the same 7 (amazing) lines constantly; And sometimes an enemies head will burst from shots that weren’t hitting their head, strikes me as forced and if I want to waste more ammo on killing enemies through non headshots, that should be an option. And this are just complaints, minor complaints. And as I compared RE4 to Arkham Asylum earlier, these complaints and issues don’t ruin an overall experience that was incredibly enjoyable and rewarding from all fronts. They are either moments that are fleeting and don’t stay around too long to stick in my long term memory, or are so minor that the only reason I mention them is to write something in this section.

Resident Evil 4 is a game I put over a hundred hours in just under a decade ago. I wasn’t worried about returning to the game, I felt strong that it would at least still be fun to play, and the game is honestly an awesome experience that can be enjoyed by all. Even now that I beat the game a few days ago, I just bought the PC version (it was on sale) and are even considering going for all the unlockable and other modes, or even just run through the game again with my upgraded weapons. A metric I always use for finishing a game is if I want to continue to play the game despite beating it, and RE4 passed with flying colors.

The next game I am to play is Resident Evil: Revelations. I don’t really know much about the game; you are on a ship I think? And that’s it. I am waiting for the last few RE games to show up in our mail so hopefully not to long of a pause before I can jump back into a Resident Evil game.

Until next time…or read my thoughts on Revelations now, here.

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RElapsed Fan – Resident Evil Code: Veronica X

Been awhile? Refresh your memory on why the hell I’m doing this here

RE 2 and 3 proceed Code: Veronica, read my thoughts on those games here

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I was very excited to see Claire return
I was very excited to see Claire return

Resident Evil Code: Veronica (X) is the first RE game that I have come across that I really didn’t know what to expect when I began playing it. For the most part, the first few Resident Evil games seem to be known quantities within the video game world. You expect the tank controls, the infamous between room animations, cheesy dialogue and stories (even though that really only pertains to the original game), Chris, Jill, Leon, etc. And despite my fandom with the series years and years earlier, Code: Veronica seemed to be the one that I knew little to nothing about. (Now that I’ve beaten the game it is hard to remember what I “knew” before…) I’m pretty sure I heard it took place on Antarctica…. And honestly that is probably it. So because of this I was kind of excited to start the game. Sure in the build up to doing this I picked up on more things that are in it such as both Claire and Chris are the main protagonists, Wesker is involved somehow, twins are the bad guys and there may or may not have been some incest between them. CVX honestly was the first real RE experience where I wasn’t sure what the next story beat was going to be, and that made it incredibly exciting.

And for the most part, I enjoyed the (as the game said but had to be counting ideal time) 9+ hours I spent with the game. I did have some major issues with the gameplay (which I will get to later) but I would like to start off with the positives of the game. I was immediately impressed with how good and clear the visuals were. I played the game on the PS3, which if someone would like to enlighten me on how much they improved the game, I was impressed with what is now a 14-year-old game. I might argue that the 3D environments weren’t as atmospheric as the PS1 games and the static (but effective) backgrounds, but that being my only complaint is a huge bonus to at least the work they put into the game. I wish they cleaned up some of those CG cutscenes as they were incredibly blurry but now I’m just gripping just for the hell of it. And with the graphics, the gameplay was also absolutely approachable. Honestly, this was my 5th RE game over the past two months, and I was already perfectly fine with the old tank controls, so I wasn’t expecting to be terrible or find it frustrating but for what it’s worth the game was a lot of fun to play (except for boss fights which we will talk about later). If anything it’s the advancements and chances that RE3 took not appearing in the gameplay is the disappointing part, but they were both developed at the same time so I can’t complain too much.

Alfred was a fun character while he lasted.
Alfred was a fun character while he lasted.

Now let’s get to the story. The trend I have seen with these games is that they tend to be back heavy with story, and to its credit CVX seemed to be the first attempt to right that. This leads to a more direct knowledge of what I should be doing next or where I should be headed rather than the previous games which for at least the first half of each game (excluding 0 which pretty much everything came back to me in some way or another) was a lot of wondering and putting puzzles together. Both strategies have their strengths and weaknesses, maybe when this endeavor I’ll go more into my thoughts but for right now I preferred the direct approach. Back on topic, all the characters were fun and engaging. Sure Steve had an annoying voice and seemed extremely childish (and Claire falling for him still doesn’t make sense, IT SHOULD BE YOU AND LEON CLAIRE!!!!), he was a fun character a played his part well. Wesker returning was fun and creates a bridge from 1 to 5 that I didn’t have when I played 5 back in 2009. Alfred’s reveal that he is crazy/split personality and was the one portraying his sister for the first half+ of the game was fun and honestly a chance at story telling that they hadn’t taken in the previous games. 2 was the perfection of the story and style of the first game, 3 is the one where they took chances with combat and gameplay, I’m willing to state that CVX is the story telling experiment and most of it hit for me and made it an incredibly enjoyable experience. It actually makes me excited to return to 4 in a few games as I can see a lot of parallels between CV and 4. As mentioned earlier, I don’t know how much my enjoyment is the fact that I knew very little about the game going in and thus everything was new and fresh, and I’m willing to bet that it did have a huge effect but it’s not effecting my mood in the slightest, I enjoyed the journey and really that’s what matters to me the most.

Alright, let’s talk about those boss battles, the time has come. Outside of the worm, every fight was frustrating and annoying in ways that hadn’t happened in the series up until this point, for me. This is where I would say that the RE3 combat style would’ve been nice but off the top of my head the only fight that would require the dodge would be the tyrant fight on the plane, every other one involved obnoxious poison, annoying enemies or situation that absolutely took enjoyment out of the fights. Oh I should use the sniper on Nosferatu? Well that’s impossible with the incredibly thick fog and his random spraying of poison all over the place. Wait the magnum isn’t effective against Alexia’s queen, pod, ass-annoying form? Isn’t the magnum supposed to be the end all be all weapon outside of the rocket launcher? Is that lunging attack from the tyrant IMPOSSIBLE to avoid? Or is that just me? The other games had tough bosses, but I never had to try more than once or twice to figure them out. CVX has several bosses that easily took 30+ minutes to figure out, and personally that kills, KILLS precious momentum for me when it comes to games. If your final boss is that tough, fine, cool, understandable, but most of the bosses throughout the game I had this issue, and sorry that can’t be on me that many times. For every boss that I mentioned, I had to go to the internet to see if I just wasn’t getting the concept or if I was just not understanding what I was supposed to, that’s bad game design and sad to see that in an HD version they wouldn’t at least try a fix those parts that seem incredibly broken. God if they only gave you more room to run around in the Alexia second form I might not have even gone this far but that was what broken me and showed this glaring issue to me in its full glory. Alright I’m done, I can’t go on, I have turned to negative on a game that for the most part I fully enjoyed outside of a few bits and pieces. For anyone who might play this for the first time, SAVE ONE B.O.W. GERNADE FOR AT LEAST THE TYRANT FIGHT ON THE PLANE AND ALEXIA POD/QUEEN MUTATION, something I wish I didn’t waste all 3 on the first tyrant encounter, someone should’ve explained what they hell those things were.

FUCK...these 3 boss fights!

Well that’s about all the rantings I had. I’m sad it took so long to beat the game, I originally started on June 8th, but a bunch of stuff came up and kept delaying me playing the game over and over again. Overall I really did enjoy the game and out of the 5 RE games that I have played, I sadly have to put 0 as my least favorite out of all of them. If you read my (pre and post 0) blogs you know that I have a bunch of nostalgia for that game, but it honestly is the one I have enjoyed the least so far compared to the rest. CVX was a fun ride, ultimately I don’t know if I would ever play it again unless they did a full on REmake for it.

Side note: I’ve had a hard time trying to find what was specifically added to CVX that wasn’t in the original version, if anyone could explain specifically that would be most appreciated.

Now it’s onto the rail-shooters the Umbrella Chronicles and the Darkside Chronicles. I currently plan to play them both consecutively and then do a blog with both of them unless I’m absolutely floored with the material/experience of one of them that I need to write a blog immediately. Going to say that probably doesn’t happen but you never know. I also hope to recruit the wife to play these with me (they have 2 player mode don’t they?), but between you and me, I bet she bails every time I try and play with her.

On to…

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EDIT 6/27/15: Fuck those railshooters. They are unplayable (shockingly) on easy with a controller. I'm not going to buy a PS Move or get the wii versions so I'm removing them from my series playthrough. Maybe some day when I get a motion controller but god that was a frustrating hour I gave the games a chance.

ACTUALLY moving on to....or read my thoughts about how great RE4 is here

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RElapsed Fan – Resident Evil 2 and 3

Confused? Read my initial blog

I played Resident Evil: Director's Cut before these two games, you can read my thoughts here

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I thought it would be fun to approach these games in chronological order as I work my way through the main series franchise. As mentioned in the initial blog about this endeavor, I am a sucker for stupid timelines that exist in media so when I got the urge to finally play these games again, rather than go in release date order (which is almost chronological order to be honest) I opted for the very specific timeline of when things occur. This meant playing 2/3rds of RE3, then proceed to complete RE2 (not once but twice), then wrapping up RE3. I am aware that there are several games that also deal with the fall of Raccoon City, and maybe someday I will play those games to get a larger picture of what happened to the city over the course of September 1998, but for the moment I am just focusing on the main characters and entries to the franchise. This experience was very exciting and I enjoyed the process a ton, swapping between the games wasn’t as big of a deal as I would’ve thought and it led to swings in my enjoyment of the games themselves, both good and bad.

I didn’t really know what to expect with Resident Evil 3 as I load the game to start playing it. My perception of the game is that the community is kind of ho hum towards the game, not necessarily labelling it a pariah i.e. RE0, more labelling it is a downgrade following the wonderful game that is RE2. As I began the game I was expecting to experience a slog and to more or less fall in the middle of the road, not hating the game but not enjoying it much either. That was not the case in that I absolutely loved playing the game.

Nemesis was truly terrifying when he would show up.
Nemesis was truly terrifying when he would show up.

I found that they were able to mix the atmosphere of 1 (and what I eventually found 2 to be) but also adjusted the combat to make it more fast paced and exciting. This led to the game feeling less scary but as what I found with the game itself, they seemed to balance changes correctly. Yes the game felt less scary overall, but the Nemesis encounters were absolutely terrifying. Every time (especially early on) Nemesis would rear his ugly face, I physically tensed up in hoping to survive another day. Having not entirely adjusted to the controls and the dodge ability (again, another balance to the game) I found myself fleeing in terror at the majority of the encounters. This meant that the first time I went through a door, thinking I escaped the tentacles of my…. nemesis ONLY for his music to kick back in realizing that he can move through doors and chase you further than any enemy has at that point, absolutely terrifying.

Probably my biggest complaint about RE3 early on was I wasn’t really sure what the hell I was doing story wise. As the intro cutscene and numerous loading messages state, I’m escaping, but that more or less describes all the (early) RE games. Protagonist ends up in a shitty setting, B.O.W.s, need to escape, expose/destroy Umbrella in the process. It’s a pretty minor complaint as I also find most of these games so far keep the story bits to the back 1/3rd of the game. But by the time Jill had been injured and Carlos was being controlled, I had to move onto RE2.

Chief Irons... what a creep... kind wish he was more involved in the game.
Chief Irons... what a creep... kind wish he was more involved in the game.

If I could boil my thoughts and feelings about Resident Evil 2 into one sentence, it would be I really wished I played this game back in the day, when I first considered myself a fan of the series and was young and impressionable. Resident Evil 2 is a damn good game and still holds up very well. And it is necessary to beat the game twice, otherwise you are missing out on so much that is truly amazing and impressive about the game (and most importantly it actually finishes the game). What I immediately noticed first was the differences between 3 and 2. While I did really enjoy the larger amount of enemies and action going on in 3, the slowness and isolation that exists in 2 was fantastic. 2 took what is un-ironically great about 1 and built upon that and while the game isn’t as charming, it moved beyond the B movie vibe of the first and came into an actual survival horror setting. The VA was a lot better(worse?) than 1 excluding the gun shop owner guy, the story was very engaging and interesting with a larger cast of characters that you interact with, disturbing and terrifying enemy encounters, slow build and release of tension, all these build to a perfect combination of elements into an incredibly joyful experience.

Loved Leon in 4, didn't know much about Claire going in. Huge fan of both now.
Loved Leon in 4, didn't know much about Claire going in. Huge fan of both now.

I really can’t say enough positive things about this game, but to be critical or critics sake, and mode or option to play the game where it automatically splits you between Claire and Leon’s story. That way you see the immediate ramifications of what your characters actions on how the effect the surrounds. The idea of being able to fight Berkin first in Leon’s campaign, then bouncing to Claire and eventually fight him there, so on and so on. This wouldn’t be possible as you do the same exact puzzles for the most part and thus it wouldn’t make sense that both Claire and Leon have to find Virgin Hearts to find their respective puzzle pieces from the same exact spot. Regardless, I loved my time with the game and I could see RE2 becoming a game that every few years or so I pop back in to experience and enjoy.

Riding high off of RE2… I kind of didn’t want to return to RE3. I didn’t really expect my opinion to change on 3 over the course of playing 2 but it certainly did. Not that I now hated the game or even thought to want to finish the game, more that 3 is an experiment, a way for the developers to try new things or new ideas to play with. 2 is a purer experience of what they originally wanted to do in 1, 3 is a “OK, we perfected that, let’s experiment,” and because of that I am able to nitpick at the game. I really enjoy the idea of Nemesis, but the one other boss sucks and I didn’t find very interesting. I really like the fast pace action, but very little slowness or tension building takes away from the series in some very specific ways that I absolutely realized I missed after the RE2 playthrough. I really loved RE3 when I first started up until the break, from that point I don’t know how much of it is to blame on RE2 or enough time to figure out things that bug me about the game, but I think it is a fine game… I don’t know if I will ever play it again. That saddens me as there is some cool ideas and things going on in the game, but…. Yeah.

I still love you Jill, sorry my enthusiasm didn't last all the way through your escape.
I still love you Jill, sorry my enthusiasm didn't last all the way through your escape.
Shout out to Mr. X. The precursor to Nemesis, dude knows inconvenient times to break through walls
Shout out to Mr. X. The precursor to Nemesis, dude knows inconvenient times to break through walls

Kind of got all bummed at the end, overall I absolutely loved the process. One of my favorite things with the combination is that RE3 felt like the beginning of the incident with dozens/hundreds more zombies and enemies and by the time I get to RE2, everything has calmed down as it becomes a more atmospheric and empty. In some fun ways the games play off each other very well and you wouldn’t get that experience anyway other than splitting them between each other.

Some interesting tidbits I’ve picked up on now that I’ve played a handful of Resident Evil games:

  • First off, there is going to be a puzzle involving wood boxes and water, funny how I praised RE0 for such a fun, engaging, challenging puzzle (and it was), but other RE games also contain them.
  • Second, you WILL play as another character, sooner or later.
  • Third, expect all the games to end on a setting you were just in exploding, Capcom loves their countdown sequences and self-destruct systems.
  • Four, all hail the Rocket Launcher, except Nemesis, dude can take some rockets.

Now that I’ve gone through 4 games at this point, I’m still really enjoy it. To be honest I’m surprised how quickly I’m moving through them, I expected I would want a little downtime in-between them but I’ve beat them all with the month of May. The next game is Code Veronica X, which I will be playing on the PS3.I know very little about the game except that it’s both(?) Chris and Claire and it takes place on Antarctica. That is pretty much all I know and I might take a little break now (maybe try and beat Peace Walker and Ground Zeroes in time for MGS5) but I could easily see me this weekend starting up CVX. Until next time.

On to…or you can read my thoughts on CVX here

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RElapsed Fan - Resident Evil: Director's Cut

Why did I decide to play all the main Resident Evil games? Read my initial blog

Resident Evil 0 chronologically is first, read my pre and post game thoughts

Director's Cut
Director's Cut

I decided to do a chronological playthrough of the Resident Evil franchise because I enjoy watching events play out how they are supposed to be (except Memento, watching it edited chronologically sounds boring). Thus this means that I would be alternating some games between generations, which means jumping between tone as well. That is what I experienced from starting with RE0, a game trying to be extremely serious and scary, and DC, which comes off as campy and B movie-esque. And god dammit did I absolutely love it.

Note: I just want to say here that I didn’t finish the game myself. As I was about to enter the labs, my Vita got an error and I couldn’t start any game. Once I got it working after a reboot, I had lost about 2 hours of gameplay so I elected to watch the conclusion of the game. I was very sad that I couldn’t beat it myself and hope that it doesn’t happen in the future…I’m planning on playing 2 and 3 on my Vita and god I hope it doesn’t happen again.

Game was surprisingly playable. I was totally expecting a slog and got an enjoyable experience.
Game was surprisingly playable. I was totally expecting a slog and got an enjoyable experience.

As I sit here writing this, I am having a hard time of evening thinking of anything that I disliked about the game. From beginning to end I think they nailed everything, whether intentionally or not. Let’s start with the combat and gameplay. It surprised me how responsive and comfortable the combat was after about 30 minutes of adjusting to the control scheme, which is quite simple and effective. By the end of my time with the game I was able to respond to most situations quickly and effectively, by contrast in RE0 I felt sluggish and I relied on a slow approach to minimize getting caught off guard. DC allowed me to straddle the line of cautiousness and play ability and I absolutely applaud them for nailing it and somehow living up to that still. And maybe I sit here and applaud the game’s mechanics because I have never really been bothered by tank controls and the specific camera angles that exist in the early RE games. I know some can’t get passed this aspect of the game and I feel bad for them as it just comes to me so quickly that once I adjust I can execute pretty much everything I want to. Same thing with the MG series, these weird control schemes just make sense after a little while. Regardless I was very surprised how playable the game was after all these years and despite hunters being able to stun lock you to death, all my deaths were on me rather than the game which makes me a better player.

Such a great line
Such a great line

Now let’s talk about what I loved most about it, the tone and atmosphere of the game. As with a lot of things that are unintentional, I don’t know if I would want the original RE to be serious. It strikes me off as the perfect way to start the series, rather than being overly serious and “scary.” God I can’t get enough of the FMV sequences and the terrible costumes, the painful dialogue with pauses between lines, everything about the story telling was incredibly charming and I just couldn’t help but smile every time one of these scenes came up. An example is the opening cutscene, I verbally laughed every time they show the close of the (I'm assuming) figurine of a zombie dog and do the zoom in and out and rotate the camera, it was cheesy in the right way, the best way possible. I did a Chris playthrough in this version (I'll admit I'm saving the Jill playthrough so she is in HD...) so sadly I didn’t get any amazing, classic Barry lines that everyone knows but Rebecca’s incredibly high pitched, overly enthusiastic delivery despite the dark circumstances made up for it with me. As I sit here writing this, I want to do another playthrough just for the hell of it, and when I get that feeling after a game that says it was special to me in some way.

The least enjoyable enemy I faced, and it wasn't that bad.
The least enjoyable enemy I faced, and it wasn't that bad.

I’m still having a hard time thinking of issues I had with the game. Probably the obvious thing is the Hunter’s and how they could be complete bullshit, but as long as there was only 1 I had to face I would be ok. Maybe not enough boss battles and relied on Yawn more than they should have. The bosses are where I misplaced REmake memories onto the game so I was expecting a huge shark or “head” zombie battle but those never happened, and maybe for the best. I remember this game scaring me as a kid, but that wasn't the case this time. I even tried to play in the dark to at least try and get a "scare" atmosphere while I played but there is nothing scary about it. I was 8 when it came out and easily scared I guess, nostalgia wasn't ruined as that was a time and place thing for me. Not enough different weapons? I don’t know. I’m really stretching here so I don’t come across all lovey dovey with the game, but I truly enjoyed 99% of the game.

So where do we go from here? I suspect some of the charm of this game is lost on 2 and 3 as they are probably more successful in being scary or serious. Definitely by the time the games come off the PS1 I’m sure the B-movie feel is completely gone, and that kind of saddens me. I almost want to say that there are two Resident Evil series, the first one and then the rest. Eventually when I get to the HD remake I wonder how I will feel about that game. I suspect a lot of it will feel like a different game in the same setting, but I fully expect to love both of them for different reasons. And that’s OK in my book.

Final verdict. Resident Evil: Director’s Cut is still a very playable and approachable now, despite being almost 20 years old. If a game that is quite cheesy and B-movie style doesn’t interest you, stay away, but I pity you, I don’t know if I would want this one to be serious. And maybe it’s for the best that this (maybe) is the only entry that crosses that line. I sit here truly surprised how much I enjoyed the game.

In keeping with the chronology of the series, the next blog will be a combination of RE 2 and 3, as the first half of 3 takes place before 2 and then ends after the events that occur in 2. I’m very curious to see how this plays out and pray that my Vita doesn’t crash again, I really want to play these games rather than resorting to Let’s Play videos.

On to... actually you can read my thoughts on RE2 and 3 here!

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RElapsed Fan - Resident Evil 0: Post-game Thoughts

Confused why I’m doing this? Read my initial blog

Want some pre-game thoughts about RE0? Click here

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Resident Evil 0 for the most part is a totally confident game that probably gets too much shit over the years for trying different things but not completely following through on them. First off I’ll state that my nostalgia wasn’t completely ruined, it was more affirmed while playing. As said, I thought I would be saying “I remember this” quite a bit while playing, and that certainly was the case as I came across things and I would go “ugh….I remember this.” Not all of it was bad but it was a lot of annoyances came flooding back to me. My nostalgia for the most part allowed me to remember what I loved most about the game (isn’t that what nostalgia is supposed to do), but replaying the game didn’t ruin still what I enjoyed most about the game, so I’m happy and not in a dark place. So let’s get into it.

There was potential here
There was potential here

As said, RE0 tried to do some new things but just didn’t quite take it all the way. First and foremost the 2 protagonists and the ability to switch between them. I still think this was a cool idea and the execution of the mechanics are awesome. You can leave your partner in another location and they will have to defend themselves if something bad were to come at them. Your characters are always in danger and that adds tension. I always hated leaving one character alone not knowing what could potentially happen to them. But for the most part that was never the case and I can only now think of a handful of times where the protag I left was even attacked. It should’ve been a big deal for them to stay in a single spot in a creepy mansion/train/facility. So while it worked for me, eventually the tension wore off and it wasn’t a big deal that I was using the hookshot to leave Billy alone, rather they have never been safer in the game when I have to leave them, that stinks.

My next issue isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but something I wish didn’t occur so often. That would be how often the team was split up in uninteresting ways. I was surprised how often I was leaving one character alone or a character disappeared for “x” reason. This leads to a lot of how I felt in the above paragraph, separating should’ve been tense, rare, and only done when needed. Rather I might argue that you spend most of the game controlling one character while the other is waiting, trapped, in trouble, etc. How did a puzzle not involve that both characters had to move to separate parts of a setting to do two things at once BUT both were in danger and you had to switch back and forth to make sure they were doing ok. The train could've done this but rather only one character is in danger while the other just chills in the control room, a lot left on and off the table with this design choice.

Puzzle was a lot of fun to figure out
Puzzle was a lot of fun to figure out

The puzzle solving between them could’ve been better, and they showed signs of some interesting ideas but again, didn’t execute. I look specifically at the box puzzle near the back ¼ of the game where one is trying to make a line of boxes and the other is controlling the obstacle in the way. This is probably the only puzzle in the game that I will remember as it took time (but not too much so it would become frustrating) and took coordination as both protag’s job depended on the other. It was a perfect balance that hadn’t been seen in the game yet. The rest of the puzzles were more annoying or lacked imagination. I don’t remember RE1 extremely well but some puzzles are ripped right from that game, and then the puzzle solves itself for you (tablets to lower the observatory, I was surprised I didn’t have to actually place them in the order of the motto). This is a lead in to the next big issue.

The Mansion. This place is the least imaginative and the most “by the numbers” feel and leads to the middle part of the game feeling meh. I understand why it is there in that they wanted to try and create the feeing of the first game again with the mansion. But that really only works when the entire game takes place in and around a singular place, you become familiar with your surrounding and eventually you know this place like you know your own home. Maybe it’s unfortunate that the mansion comes after the train which is a wonderful, claustrophobic, tense setting but even then I don’t think my opinion would change that much. This was the part of my playthrough where I was most worried that my nostalgia would be crushed, but Capcom came back with the Water Treatment Facility which is a very interesting and engaging setting.

You could've been more...
You could've been more...

Some other annoyances and problems:

  • I hate the leech zombies, they were just bullet sponges and just got more and more annoying as I got deeper into the game. I swear the first few I encountered could be taken down with several shotgun shots, by the end I had to empty an entire clip of shotgun into them and even then they might not have gone down.
  • Forgot about enemy invincibility frames, which that might be the big issue I had with enemies as I never quite adjusted to the time frame of when they are vulnerable and when they are not. It’s just weird that some enemies you can always damage and others have a good 3 to 4 seconds in between opportunities to punish them. Led to a lot more wasted ammo than there should’ve been.
  • The church/gondola part sucks ass. While the mansion is disappointing, this part was by far worse, thankfully it led to the Facility otherwise I could be singing a different tune about the game.
  • I was surprised how many bosses were fought solo, just caught me off guard. Thus I was surprised how few bosses there were and how big of gaps there were between them, I don’t know how much time exactly but I could easily argue at least 2 hours if not more between the centipede and the bat.
  • Lugging the hookshot around sucked and probably should’ve just been swapped with Billy’s lighter, that was only used one damn time and you didn’t even have to burn bodies or anything like you had to in the REmake. At least make the hookshot a one slot item rather than two. One of the major highlights of the game was finally getting rid of that bullshit item.
Do I have to?
Do I have to?

While I think its lame now, I thought this part was awesome at one point.
While I think its lame now, I thought this part was awesome at one point.

Now comes what I loved. I still like both main characters. I really don’t get the hate that Billy receives (if you want to bitch about the Matrix stuff then go ahead), it seems unwarranted and I’m glad he was just different. I like that he isn’t apart of STARS and friends/acquaintances with all these other characters beforehand. I would argue he is the one thing the developer took a chance on and succeeded. I really like his backstory of being wrong conflicted for war crimes and the idea that he was being transported to the Umbrella facility to be tested on (something I never put together years ago but did now). If anyone would like to state why they think he is a bad character please post, I would love to read why because I currently don’t understand that thinking.

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Rebecca is young and naïve and it works, her interaction with Billy wouldn’t make sense if she was someone with a lot of authority; that relationship would’ve ended on the train when they first met if that was the case. She severs her role well and look forward to how she is portrayed in Resident Evil as I’m planning on doing a Chris playthrough. She grows up over the course of the game and is reminiscent of the most recent Tomb Raider (obviously not as dramatic or up front as TR, but I’m connecting the dots).

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I still think the game looks gorgeous for being as old as it is. It's crazy how well the Gamecube REmake and RE0 have held up over a decade now. The lighting effects are fantastic, the sound design was top notch in my book.Overall technically impressive

Those are the main things I wanted to talk about after beating RE0. It’s a weird experience as it is the first RE game I’m playing in this process so my opinion could drastically change by the time I hit RE2 for an example. Even though I listed far more problems than things I liked, overall I did really enjoy playing it and better yet I'm excited to jump into the next RE game. I wouldn’t recommend it to anyone who isn’t already a fan of the Resident Evil series, but I have a hard time seeing this as the black hole of the series some people over the years have labelled this game. As said, maybe in a game or two I will think this was an absolute pile of shit, we shall see….

On to....(or read my thought on RE:DC here)

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New to Premium? What to Start Watching!

I decided to write this as it seems every few weeks there is a new thread started asking which content a new premium member should approach. I’m fine with the threads, I’m more annoyed of writing things up over and over again, and find myself being less informative as I just suggest the basic top 3 content. So with the influx of new Premium users coming in off the BLLSL I thought this might help some users hoping to learn where to start watching content.

First off, the best content on the site that has ever been produced is the Persona 4 Endurance Run featuring Jeff and Vinny. It’s free so anyone can watch, only issue people might have is that is about a 96 hour investment from beginning to end.

I would like to note that qlcrew.com is a great tool and they are doing Gods work for us. I have run into some issues and it seems that you can't just vaguely search for something rather you must know the exact game to find that video, and even then some of the older content hasn't been cataloged i.e. searching for "Home Alone" should bring up the SNES Members Stream part 2, but it brings up nothing. So for new content it is great/fantastic, but in my experience it isn't a reliable tool to find older content. Looks like they took my criticism to heart, the SNES stream was added with time stamps and I could even search SNES and pull up the stream. I meant no hard feelings by it guys, I love what you do and glad to see you continue to improve what is a fantastic tool.

In regards to Premium Content, a lot of this is personal taste, everyone has different opinions. One feature I find boring, others think it’s the greatest piece of content they have ever done. My goal is to highlight the best of the best that most users agree is the greatest, then I will suggest what I personally think is great, and what others really enjoy but not be my cup of tea. So let’s get started.

  • Fortune Street TNT (Part 1 and Part 2) – This feature is about 3 ½ hours but is completely worth it. Others today think Mario Party Party are the best videos they have ever done. WRONG! This was the original MPP, except substitute mini games for timely economic jokes. Even for how long the feature is, it’s crazy how entertaining it is throughout the entire run time. Every time I find myself losing interest, something happens that brings me back in. Easily this is the feature I have watched the most over the years and come back to every few months. Vinny fumbling his way into second place while playing possum, Ryan’s complete control over district D, the quick rise and drastic fall of Patrick and district A, and Jeff dropping knowledge on how to play stocks in real life. So many great moments and laughs, also Nintendo metal.

  • Random PC Game: Phantasmagoria (Part 1 and Part 2) – This feature is about 4 ½ hours and again, completely worth it. Vinny and Dave are a great duo together (personally my favorite) and their reactions to everything in the game is fantastic. What started as a RPCG feature eventually turns into an Endurance Run as both Dave and Vinny want to find out what happens next in this weird and charming game. Remember to fix your hair when you come to a mirror everyone.

  • Cards Against Humanity TNT’s (CAH and Star Trek; CAH featuring Brad Muir) – There are two and are worth your time. Range between and 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 45 minutes. Extremely funny and inappropriate (don’t watch out loud around sensitive people or places) but some of the legit funniest things they have done. The second features the amazingly happy Brad Muir who, god dammit, doesn’t know how to keep his beer quiet in the theater.

  • Dead Island TNT – Runs at about 1 hour and 30 minutes, but for all it’s worth the first half is constant laughs. Within the first minute Ryan has to remove his ear piece because Jeff and the gang are laughing too hard at what was happening. What was happening? Trucks.

  • Mario Party Party Series – One of the best series in a while that they have done. Range between 3 and 4 hours so a big time investment. I personally prefer MPP2 and 4, 2 was a big nostalgia piece for me but Brad’s breakdown at the end was great, 4 is where Dan got what was coming to him and it’s great to watch. What defers between this and the Fortune Street TNT is that I find myself losing interest in the MPP for long stretches, not that it isn’t necessarily bad but it just doesn’t keep my attention. Eventually something hilarious happens and it’s great again but it’s only a matter of time before it happens again sadly. A lot of people love the series and might disagree, again this is how I feel about the feature and hope to give a balanced view of the content.

  • The Running of the Lanterns (1, 2, 3) – Was a 3 part series where Brad, Ryan, Patrick and THE Will Smith play a co-op mode of INSANELY TWISTED SHADOW PLANET (said in loud, echoing voice). Each one is around 1 hour and 30 minutes and have a lot of laughs and just a really good feature. Sadly they never continued after the 3rd attempt (never figured out if it was a scheduling thing or if it was because of Ryan’s inadvertent slip of the tongue) but it’s a feature that I think some forget about but is something everyone should watch.

Those are the must see and probably the features you should seek out first to watch. Next will be my personal favorite videos/series that I hope to persuade you to check out.

  • Matrix Online: Not Like This Series – this is free content but people should watch. All 5 features together around about 5 and ½ hours so you could enjoy over several days or weeks. Features Ryan, Vinny, and TonkaTruck as they explore the world of the Matrix Online. Probably what I enjoy most of the feature is that the community hated them in the beginning but slowly began to appreciate what they were doing by the final episode or two. Really wish the entire stream of the final episode was available but oh well.

  • Members Only SNES Party (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3) – This was the feature that originally made me want to subscribe to the site, and once I did it was the first piece of content I sought out. I love when they play old games and I also love long streams, this runs at about 7 and ½ hours, feature and great number of the crew and Whiskey Media personalities and playing the greatest console to ever come out. So many enjoyable moments in this feature that I couldn’t name them all.

  • Contradiction: Spot the Liar! (QL (free), QL Supplemental (Free), GBE Playdate Part 1, 2 (Premium)) - GB is at its best when the crew accepts whatever the game wants them to and they just enjoy the ride (with their great humor of course). Their best content usually has this rule of mine, from Phantasmagoria, Fortune Street and a few of the MPP. Contradiction is the first game to do this for them since Bioforge and its great to see them have some enthusiasm for a single game where they all are engrossed and want to see the outcome. It took over an hour to get to that point but it seems they can't stop, hope they finish the game!
  • 3DO Catalog TNT – 3DO is a weird system and this shows off why. Lots of good laughs at games and Jeff’s disgust over Plumbers Don’t Wear Ties is fantastic. Runs about 1 and ½ hours. Probably my favorite TNT besides the ones already recommended.

  • Random PC Game: Police Quest: SWAT – Vinny and Dave, 1 and ½ hours, crazy grandma, slice the pie….

  • On the Green with Sim Golf (Part 1 and Part 2)– I’m a sucker for the crew playing old games but this is a feature I really enjoyed. You get to hear from the man himself, Sid Meier which is awesome to hear him talk about at this point a 10 year old game and his thoughts on it. I’m not going to say its particularly hilarious or amazing moments, but just overall I loved the stream for showing me a great game and spending a few hours with it rather than 20 minutes or so.

  • GB Unplugged: Pathfinder (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4)– so far the D&D one hasn’t done it for me, could be a lack of Vinny and Dave but regardless, the Pathfinder feature is fantastic. Everyone actually role playing as there character despite real world knowledge, great laughs, betrayals, statue arms and dead parrots. All together the 4 episodes are about 8 hours but is entirely worth it.

  • Random PC Game: Ripper – Very funny moments as they play this old FMV game. It was fun to have Jeff and Ryan (who also appears in the Burn: Cycle RPCG). Specifically the bad acting, bar tender and aggravating puzzles make this a fun feature. Runs around 1 hour and 45 minutes.

  • GB Unplugged: Avalon – really wish they would do this again with additional people but it’s a lot of fun watching how they lie to one another. Is about 1 and ½ hours and DON’T trust Danny and Mary, holy shit can they lie (but when are they lying? He he he….)

  • Pokémon Snap & Friends – Features Ryan and Patrick and runs for about 2 hours. Mainly this was a huge nostalgia piece as a fan but there are some good laughs as they play the game and talk about Pokémon in general. Like Sim Golf, it was just different from anything else they were doing at the time that it has stuck with me.

  • GB always does an End of Year stream and all are fun and enjoyable to watch. Usually between 3 and 5 hours but I would check them out. I personally lean towards 2010 and 2011 as my favorite but they all of fun moments. Thanks to GB Unarchived on youtube, you should be able to watch all of them easily rather than having to piece together 30 minute chunks of 2012’s stream (which I had to do).

That is what I’m initially going to suggest to new users. Here are some other thoughts on content:

  • The GB Flight Club videos (here's a list, no idea if its up to date) are great but I’ve lost my list of all of them and for the most part, they are videos with 1 or 2 amazing moments and the rest is….ok. Turboman’s Best of GB videos highlight the best of those features in my opinion without all the filler that can happen.
  • I really love the Olympic Games Olympiad (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4). I could see why some may find them boring, its just Ryan and Brad playing all the Olympic games. I just found it incredibly interesting in seeing the quality between the games since the beginning. Also Jeff falling in Part 4 is hilarious and I can't believe I missed it the first time.
  • There’s also a lot of great TNT’s throughout the years but my knowledge of what are the best ones really only start in mid-2011 so if others have suggestions on which to seek out I would be most appreciated.
  • A lot of the RPCG are great but can’t find myself to suggest them all. RPCG also contains other FMV games as well as other PC games that I’m unfamiliar with.
  • I suggest checking out Dave and Ryan’s venture into Elder Scrolls 3 (Part 1 and Part 2) and 4 (Part 1 and Part 2) that happened before the Skyrim stream, both are tired and play off each other very well in humor.
  • A lot of users love the Metal Gear Scanlon stuff, I couldn't care less as I personally find it frustrating to watch Drew play the game, that's more on me not enjoying them rather than it being bad content.
  • Jeff's Jar Time videos (Here's the best place to find them all) are great and informative, he just doesn't do them all that often and it fucking sucks.
  • Spookin with Scoops is hit or miss with me, I personally really liked the Oculus one (There's actually 2 (1 and 2), I don't remember which I liked more but I think I enjoyed both), actually freaked me out and some good Patrick scares.
  • Bot Colony video has to be the first recorded instance of Vinny rage quitting a game.
  • Vinny is also really good at Dark Souls guys, just not at jumping (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10)

Any suggestions, questions or comments are always appreciated and I will edit this constantly making sure it is up to date with what I feel is the most important content that they have done, but let’s be real, they have never really done any bad content; rather its content that just wasn’t my taste. I hope this helps people discover what makes Giant Bomb and the crew so great, just as I did.

EDIT: 7/19/15 - Added Contradiction: Spot the Liar!

EDIT: 9/3/15 - Added Contradiction Premium Part 2, MPP5

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